quarantined with barbed wire fences when a Chinese laborer was suspected to have died of Bubonic plague.
While the cause of death was still undetermined,
a cordon was placed around Chinatown, and no Chinese American was
allowed to leave the area bounded by California, Kearny, Broadway, and
Stockton streets. This restricted the freedom of movement of people,
some of whom were American citizens. It caused them many hardships, for
they had difficulty in obtaining goods and services from people outside
Chinatown. There was a shortage of food, and prices increased sharply.
Chinese American businessmen faced a loss of income, and workers a loss
of wages. After three and a half months, it was found that
there were no cases of bubonic plague within Chinatown. This lengthy
quarantine of Chinatown was motivated more by racist images of Chinese
as carriers of disease than by actual evidence of the presence of
Still, at least they didn't accidentally burn the area to the ground.